11 May 2015

Am I Down On the ELCA Records?

I've never been a fan of "reviews" that were nothing more than cursory glances at the material or were merely rephrasings of promotional items sent to potential "reviewers." Discussions of that type do the reader a disservice and often only serve as veiled advertisements. The same goes for reviews of genealogical databases, software and the like.

It may seem that I'm "down" on the "Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940"  at Ancestry.com. The reality is that I am not--not by a long shot. We've featured some really interesting finds in these records--because there are some wonderful discoveries to be made. However, there are some limitations. I want readers of this blog to be aware of them. Informed users are better users. There are wonderful gems hidden in those records and I've tried to share with readers some ways to get at the best of what those records have to offer.

I write about what I use, generally as I'm using it. I've never been a big fan of superficial blog posts written about items merely to generate web traffic.

One reason I'm writing about them so much is that I'm using them regularly now that Ancestry.com has posted them--and that I have "discovered" them. It's also one of the first Ancestry.com  databases that includes significant information on my Ostfriesen immigrant ancestors in the United States--and that's one-half of my ancestry. Sometimes I write about things as soon as they are released and other times it takes me a long time to get around to using something. I don't always run out and search the newest database the moment it is released just so I can be the first to write about it.

Many concerns are general 

The concerns that have been noticed on this database are not limited to this database specifically and not limited to just Ancestry.com. With every post about these records, I try and make general points about researching online regardless of the database. Those warnings are not limited to the "Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940." These concerns and pitfalls are ones that researchers should be aware of regardless of what database is being queried.

No comments: